MECC Offers First-Ever Literacy Institute for Teachers

Lift Institute

Big Stone Gap — Wise County K-8 teachers recently participated in Mountain Empire Community College’s first-ever Literacy Institute for Teachers (LIFT).

LIFT, or EDU 295: Literacy Institute for Teachers, is designed to allow teachers to earn recertification points for professional license renewal. The course focused on effective teaching strategies using literacy skills and storytelling, utilizing active engagement and modeling strategies.

Fourteen teachers were trained in integrating the elements of storytelling and literacy to motivate student learning and retention of critical concepts across content areas. Although literacy was the focus, teachers learned how to incorporate literacy education across disciplines.

MECC Dean of Arts & Sciences Harriette Arrington said the college developed the program as a way to meet two needs – improving the literacy skills of youth in the region while providing quality professional development and required re-certification credits for local educators.

“It was an absolute privilege to work with these outstanding teachers in grades Pre-K through sixth from across Wise County,” said Dr. Arrington, a who is also a children’s book author and professional storyteller. “We learned from each other and had such fun exploring exciting ways to build student success.”

Shameeka Williams, a fifth grade math teacher at Union Middle School described the class as enlightening. “I learned how to incorporate various literacy activities into my math classroom that I would have never known about before.”

“The LIFT class was more than uplifting,” added D. J. Sabo, a pre-school teacher at St. Paul Elementary School. The class gave me the confidence to become a better storyteller and allowed me the chance to meet fellow teachers in Wise County and learn from them.”

MECC plans to offer additional teacher re-certification training in during the 2018-19 academic year. To learn more about training opportunities for educators, call 276.523.2400 ext. 243.